67th Annual Soapbox Derby this weekend

PETER SILAS PASQUA ppasqua@postsouth.com
POST SOUTH PHOTO/Peter Silas Pasqua

PLAQUEMINE - Cub Scout Pack #21 of Plaquemine will host the 67th Annual Soapbox Derby races this weekend.

The event begins with a parade down Main Street April 4 at 4:30 p.m. to the Plaquemine Lock State Historic Site where the Baton Rouge Corvette Club will judge “Best in Show.”

One den maiden will be crowned queen and the t-shirt design winner will receive a plaque. All other scouts will receive participation trophies and t-shirts.

Races begin April 5 and will include a victory run by last year’s champion Lucas Sanchez.

Other winners last year included Greyson Michelle, Trent LaBauve, Kade Schexnaildre, Clayton Marionneaux, Landon Martinez, Hayden Smothers, Jude Callais and Clay LeBlanc.

Soapbox Derby races began in Dayton, Ohio in 1933 with three boys racing motor less cars down the street.

It slowly trickled its way south and in 1947, the local Cub Scouts christened its first race. It has been held consecutively every year except 2005 when construction forced the races to be skipped.

A maximum of 64 cars can race over the weekend but gravity remains the driving force down the Mississippi River flood protection levee.

Races are triple elimination and each scout gets to race at least six times down the track. Two care race each other down the track before swapping lanes to race again.

There have been six repeat winners and one three-time winner.

Awards are also presented to the second through sixth place finishers as well as for Sportsmanship.